5 Safety Hazards Involving Pallet Racking


Pallet racking is one of the most important elements to your warehouse setup and is almost important as the highly trained workforce you employ. However, it is unfortunate, but many companies and warehouse operations neglect their pallet racking storage once they have been installed. The danger with this is that it can lead to many safety risks to both staff and property and merchandise.

Not having extensive and regular inspections and self-assessments of your pallet racking, will ensure that damages and faults will occur. To limit and reduce these occurrences though, it pays to be proactive in preventing some of the most common safety hazards. We’ve listed five of the most pertinent below.

Physical Damages to Pallet Racking

Often pallet racking gets damaged from collisions with forklift trucks. These collisions can be avoided however, by ensuring that the aisles are clear and that there is enough clearance space. Your employees should be encouraged to report any observable damage and impacts immediately. Even the most minor damages should be reported, as they are the ones that may not look too serious now, but can develop into something more serious, as the damage will continue to get worse.

Misaligned Racking

When pallet racking is not aligned correctly, it can cause failures and collapses. This can be avoided during inspection, if you ensure your racking systems are aligned, level and plum as outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions. There is no point trying to store goods and merchandise on units that are not installed properly.

Loose Fittings in Flooring

There are clear guidelines from OSHA that clearly mark out the importance of ensuring that the bottoms of racks are properly anchored to the flooring using anchor bolts and column base plates. When racking systems are not properly secured to the floor, that’s when accidents can occur, including items falling from the shelves or even the shelving units falling over.

Racking System Capacity Vs. Stored Goods Weight

It is common sense really, if you overload your racking system, it is going to cause serious damage and possible injuries too. That is why you should always have the permissible load maximums, maximum bay load total and average unit load marked clearly. Never try to fit too much on the racking systems you have in your warehouse. The warehouses that try to cut corners and overload their racks are the ones that put their staff and products at risk.

Suitable Forklift Trucks

Many accidents can occur when warehouses use forklift trucks that are not suitably sized for the warehouse and pallet system they use. When determining the pallet racking systems, you need for your warehouses and the spacing between these units, you need to then figure out the right size and style of forklift truck too. Obviously one that is too small or can’t reach the uppermost shelves, is going to present safety risks, while one that is too big or only just fits in the space between shelving units, is likely to cause avoidable collisions because there is so little in the way of room to manoeuvre.

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